Savannah Marshall landed a crushing knockout on Femke Hermans to set up an undisputed world middleweight title fight against Claressa Shields.
Marshall unloaded a massive left hook that sent Hermans falling to the canvas in the dying seconds of round three, with unified champion Shields watching from the ring at Newcastle Utilita Arena.
The British WBO champion is now expected to share a ring with her American rival, who holds the WBC, WBA and IBF titles.
Marshall had tested Herman’s defenses with a first-round ranging shot, resisting the temptation to reveal his power.
But a crisp right hand from Hermans elicited an instant response from Marshall, who retaliated with his own fierce right.
Marshall stalked Hermans in the third, gradually closing the range before a short, sharp left hand sent Hermans crashing back just before the bell.
The ref had seen enough and quickly waved it off, signaling the start of preparations for Marshall’s huge encounter with Shields.